17 October 2019
Thiess fitter Jess Briggs is no stranger to the busy maintenance workshop environment. So, when offered the opportunity to help improve workplace efficiencies and safety on the job, she didn’t hesitate.
Jess and the maintenance team at Thiess’ Mt Owen operations in New South Wales, recently collaborated with local company Nivek Industries to develop the ingenious new Lift Assist 40 (LA40) tool manipulator arm.
Tasked with ensuring the project’s ultra-class fleet is in top working condition, Jess and the team had been researching a more efficient and safer way to carry out daily duties.
The team had already adopted Nivek’s Tracked Elevating Device (TED) – a remote-controlled, multi-purpose belly plate jack – helping to improve access when working under heavy machinery.
They now focused on improving the use of heavy tools.
The LA40 design aims to take the weight out of a wide range of tools including rattle guns, impact drivers, pneumatic torque guns, air sanders and more, removing the strain from the operator.
Jess and the maintenance team provided direct input into its development, visiting Nivek’s workshop on several occasions throughout the design and trial phase.
The familiarity with the hydraulic arm has enabled Jess to use the LA40 when she’s performing maintenance duties in the workshop because of the obvious safety aspect and efficiency gains.
“Previously, you’d be bolstering yourself up and pushing into something that’s vibrating back at you. It’s not ideal for your posture and the weight of the torque is quite substantial against your body, so the LA40 has made a big difference,” Jess explained.